from travelling yogi blog

All week I’ve been seeing yoga mat-toting guys and gals of all ages leaving CorePower Yoga Grant Studio with bright red cheeks and sweaty hair plastered to the backs of their necks. I can count the number of times I’ve been to an actual yoga class on one hand, and I’ve never left it looking like I had much of a workout. From what I have noticed, it’s a fairly high-traffic studio and everyone leaves looking exhausted and invigorated. I was stoked when fellow 303 staffer Elliot Riis invited me along to a class.
Today, I grabbed my Nalgene and my yoga mat and was out the door when Elliot reminded me to grab a towel. A towel? “It gets a liiiittle sweaty,” he said. I stuffed a bath towel in my bag, still skeptical that I would have to use it.
Upon entering the studio, I was greeted with a blast of hot air and a wave of spicy essential oil-y deliciousness. Three instructors were seated behind the desk signing people in and greeting regulars by name while a steady stream of folks from the locker rooms drifted upstairs.
Robin, an instructor for nine years, made note of new people and asked if everyone had towels. “Have you ever done hot yoga before?” she asked me.
“Hot yoga? Oh, well, no,” I said, and I was already sweating just standing there. Maybe this was about to be a big deal.
The studio upstairs was already packed by the time Elliot and I found our mats, and people kept coming in. The lights were low while some people were on their backs in corpse pose, others in child’s pose, and nobody was really talking. Robin walked into the studio, turned up the heat, and C2 hot yoga began.
At CorePower Yoga, the instructors are given poses and specific poses for certain body parts, but the setup of the classes are basically left up to the instructors. The flows and playlists vary day to day, instructor to instructor. Robin’s class was made up of poses I’d heard of and was very familiar with and others that I had never imagined but were either fun to try or easily modified. You would think that in a class as packed and dang sweaty as this one that it would be impossible to not be a little self-conscious, and I certainly was at first, when I noticed that, in pyramid pose, my shins were even dripping sweat. Robin had such a laid back way of describing the poses and everyone was totally into experiencing their own flow that any self-consciousness I felt was soon outta sight. Robin incorporated basic sun salutations, ab work, balancing poses and some freestyle sections, so we could go through the flow at our own pace and everyone was challenged to their own degree, from the girl who had never done yoga before to the blond, yoga superstar chick in the back.
By the end of the class, I was beet red, my towel and yoga mat were soaked and I felt more relaxed and worn out than I had in weeks. We all shakily walked back downstairs where Robin was already wrapped in a yoga towel behind the desk. She said bye to people she knew and asked new people how they liked the class. Others stopped by the desk, mopped their faces and talked about their favorite poses of the day. Everyone looked like they were in a state of deep calm as they clutched their yoga mats and left the studio, steam rising from their damp skin.